Born to Run Book by Christopher McDougall
Click Here to Download the Book Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the worldâ€™s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong. Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexicoâ€™s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultramarathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder. With a sharp wit and wild exuberance, McDougall takes us from the high-tech science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultrarunners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to the climactic race in the Copper Canyons. Born to Run is that rare book that will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you realize that the secret to happiness is right at your feet, and that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.
Reviews My only complaint was that the book was too short, or that it was so interesting and well written that I read it too fast or that I liked the characters so much that I wanted to go out for a run and have a beer with them Book is written by a runner whose legs are beat up and told he shouldn't run anymore. He researchs alternatives and learns about the Tahahumara Indians who live in the remote and inaccessible copper canyon in Mexico. One of my favorite chapters was about the year a few of the Tahahumara came north to run the Ledville 100. I won't tell who won, I was in more suspense in reading that chapter than I have been watching any game on tv. But the author also talks about running in general. Thoughts like allowing long distance runners to go pro was the worst thing for American runners, it caused American marathon times to get much slower due to sponsor concerns about shoes, mileage, coaching etc..on Bill Bowerman and whether he was disillusioned at the end of the life with changes he wrought with Nike, coaching tips, the effect of expensive running shoes(the stanford cross country coach won't allow his runners to wear expensive shoes--and there's studies that back him up But it is the author's trip to Copper Canyon that is the highlight. And the last chapters that describe the American elite ultra runners going down to Copper Canyon for a race against the Tahumura on their own turf--with no media coverage, no real prize money, no ego, well, it was great. Absolutely great.
So I picked this book up, thinking it would be a cool story about this lost tribe of distance runners -- which it was -- but I got soooo much more than I bargained for. Yes, I did learn about the Tarahumara tribe, but I also learned about the biomechanics of running and how shoe manufacturers disregard runner safety in preference of turning a profit, ultramarathons and the hardcore runners who participate in them, the lawless culture of Copper Canyon, the nearly lost techniques of persistence hunting, the evolution of the human body, and on and on and on. This is my all-time favourite kind of book -- entertaining, sure, but chock full of information I've never even thought about before. I'm kind of a geek -- I just love to learn new stuff! I went into this thinking that it would probably be a pretty good book, but maybe best for super athletes, but
nothing could be further from the truth. This book is for anyone who enjoys discovering new ideas and information. It also might inspire you to pick up your running shoes (or not!) and hit the trails for a nice long run.
I wanted to read this book for the cultural aspects of the pre-Hispanic Mexicans and to learn about the crazy people who participate in ultramarathons. I walked away from it with an appreciation for Christopher McDougall as a wonderful and creative writer, as well as a lot more information regarding the social and medical history of humans as runners. What an inspirational and well written book!! Two of the most impressive things I've learned from this book: 1. Watching my son run is the best way to learn how to correctly run myself. My 3-year-old speed demon on two legs has the Tarahumara way down pat! In fact all little kids do, it's the adults who get lazy and stiff. 2. Go barefoot! It's the natural way humans were meant to walk and run. Forget spending $100 bucks on a pair of running kicks. In fact, the more you spend the worst off you are! Kick the cushioning gel soles and microchip self-correcting inserts to the curb. Thanks Christopher McDougall. I would suggest anyone who is interested in reading a terrifically written, nonfiction, inspirational health-based cultural expose meant to teach someone the history and method of marathon running should be reading this already.
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